The Zenebas Empire (later destroyed and recreated as the Neo-Zenebas Empire) is a fictional nation from the Zoids universe. The spelling Zenevas is considered to be equally valid, but is used less in official material.
As its name would suggest, the Zenebas Empire is ruled by a monarchy. Its exact governmental structure is unclear, but it appears that the leader of the Empire is an absolute monarchy, who controls the nation through the force of his military.
The Zenebas Empire exists solely in the Battle Story, and has never directly appeared in the Zoids anime franchise.
- Main article: Battle Story
The origins of the Zenebas Empire lie in the unification of the Central Continent by King Helic in ZAC 1955. Helic had two sons by two different wives; the first was his heir, Helic II. The second, borne by Guylos' sister, was Zenebas Muroa.
When Helic died in ZAC 1978, Helic II was named as the leader of the new Helic Republic, while Zenebas was appointed as the leader of the military. He left behind instructions to his sons, telling them to work together and cover for each others' weaknesses. However, Zenebas grew impatient with the Republic's peaceful ways, insisting that a more aggressive approach was necessary to protect the nation's safety. This led to constant disagreements with his brother and the council, which came to a head in them banishing Zenebas—and in retaliation, caused him to form his own Empire.
Clashes between the two nations led to a low-intensity war that continued for roughly fifty years, with neither side gaining a long-term advantage. Matters changed in ZAC 2029, when a ship from Earth, the Globally III, crash-landed on the border between the two nations. The survivors of the ship were divided between them, absorbing into their populations while their advanced technologies were incorporated into the militaries of both nations.
The result was a far more brutal arms race as each side developed more powerful weapons.
In ZAC 2032, a group of Zenebas soldiers under the command of Gambino, the Empire's top general, rebelled against the Emperor's orders. Gambino knew that they had reason to rebel, feeling that the war was causing the people suffering. However, he also respected the authority of the Emperor. To atone for his men's actions, Gambino committed suicide. Zenebas took pity on his family, and adopted his son, Störmer. He would grow up in the Zenebas palace alongside Zenebas's daughter, Elena, who was born in ZAC 2034.
In ZAC 2039, with the deployment of the Ultrasaurus by the Helic Republic, the war swung in favour of the Republic. Using the massive Zoid, they were able to smash the Zenebas army and take the nation's capital. While the Empire fell, Zenebas himself (and his family) fled across the ocean to the Dark Continent of Nyx. There, Zenebas entered into an alliance with the Guylos Empire.
In ZAC 2041, the Zenebas army executed their D-Day assault, landing troops by sea and air across the Central Continent. The new army caught the Republic by surprise, putting them on the defensive. The Helic forces were forced to fall back, being steamrolled by the advancing Zenebas army, only the Ultrasaurus force saving them from total defeat.
That changed in ZAC 2044 with the completion and unveiling of Zenebas' ultimate weapon, the Deathsaurer. The massive Zoid was able to effortlessly defeat the Ultrasaurus force, before laying waste to the Helic capital. The Republic fell back, waging a guerrilla war against the Zenebas forces for the next four years, until they could develop a counter to the monstrous Zoid.
The arrival of the Madthunder in ZAC 2048 swung the advantage back into the Helic Republic's favor. The Helic forces retook their capital, the Deathsaurers proving to be incapable of stopping the advancing Mad Thunder Force. As the war continued, it became obvious that the Zenebas Empire could not triumph, and had only two options: surrender or be destroyed.
Now in his late seventies, Zenebas felt too old to keep fighting. At the same time, he did not want to leave the continent to his brother, possibly preferring to see it destroyed rather than being ruled by the Republic. To this end, he made what he called a deal with the devil, and called for help from the Guylos Empire.
The Zenebas capital fell in ZAC 2049, Zenebas and his family again fled from the Helic army. Guylos attacked the Central Continent as Zenebas had planned. However, rather than striking the Republic, they initially attacked the remnants of the Empire. Zenebas and Elena were captured and taken hostage. Guylos used her to take control of the Zenebas Empire, absorbing it into his own nation. Störmer became one of the Guylos Empire's top pilot. Prozen was presumably born sometime during the Empire's fall, as he is later described as a young boy shortly after the meteor disaster—however, he is not mentioned in any of the older text, presumably being ret conned into the story.
Elena herself survived the cataclysm, apparently escaping from the Guylos Empire. Taking the assumed name of Louise Camford, she became the president of the Helic Republic.
The Neo-Zenebas Empire
This was not the end of the Zenebas Empire. Unbeknownst to most, Zenebas had a second child, Günther Prozen, possibly born sometime around ZAC 2050 after an affair with a member of the Guylos court. Prozen became a part of the Guylos Empire, rising to the commander of its military and eventually the Regent. He used his position to create a special unit, the Eisen Dragoons, which was made up entirely of Zenebas soldiers and those of Zenebas origin, and under the command of his son, Wolff Muroa. In ZAC 2099, he started a new war between the Empire and the Republic, aimed at destroying both nations.
Prozen's plan succeeded, the two nations' militaries severely damaging each other during the fighting. By ZAC 2102, the Guylos forces were in retreat while the Helic army advanced across the Dark Continent. The Eisen Dragoons, as well as Prozen's prersonal bodyguard unit, the Prozen Knights, launched a coup d'état and seized power in the capital. The Guylos units loyal to Emperor Rudolph joined the Helic Republic's invasion forces, and the combined unit attacked the Knights. All three forces were almost completely destroyed when Prozen self-destructed his Death Saurer, aiming to make sure if he could not have the Empire, nobody would after he was mortally wounded by Karl Schwarz.
In the aftermath, the Eisen Dragoons took control of the Guylos Empire, renaming it to the Neo-Zenebas Empire. Under the leadership of Wolff Muroa, Prozen's heir, they invaded the Central Continent, taking control of the regions belonging to the old Zenebas Empire. Much of the population welcomed and aided the invaders, seeing them as the rebirth of their old nation. The Neo-Zenebas Empire continued to press on, attacking the Helic Republic. The Neo-Zenebas Empire used swarms of unmanned Chimera blox as the bulk of their armies, allowing them to overwhelm their enemies with sheer numbers, despite limited manpower and resources.
At first, the Neo-Zenebas forces were stopped by the Republic's Gojulas Giga Zoid, but in ZAC 2106, the Neo-Zenebas forces used the new Seismosaurus Zoid to launch a new offensive, driving the Helic forces off the continent entirely. The Republic's forces survived on the Eastern Continent, forming an alliance with the ZOITEC corporation and the remnants of the Guylos Empire. Wolff Muroa attempted to set up a government resembling what was perhaps his idealistic view of the old Zenebas, not bearing any grudge against the Republic citizens, just the army that threatened his grip on the continent.
The Republic built a new army and, in ZAC 2109, invaded the continent, driving towards their capital with the support of the people they'd left behind. The Helic forces engaged the Zenebas army, the two sides being evenly matched. In the midst of the heated final battle, Emperor Wolff Muroa's Energy Liger was badly damaged fighting Ray Gregg and his Liger Zero Falcon. Its energy charger threatened to explode, and would have destroyed both armies and the entire city. Working together in the end for the people's sake, Wolff and Ray were able to connect the Energy Liger and the Liger Zero Falcon, and the Zero managed to channel the energy from the Energy Liger's core, dispersing it in a massive beam.
Whether they both survived is somewhat uncertain, but it is presumed that this was the beginning of the end of the bitter hatred between the two nations.
As of ZAC 2230, the Neo-Zenebas Empire still survives in some form.
The Zenebas Empire never appears in the various Zoids anime. However, the version of the Guylos Empire seen in Zoids: Chaotic Century appears to be more based on the original Zenebas Empire then any version of Guylos. In the anime, the Guylos Empire occupies the western half of the continent, rather than coming from the Dark Continent.
The Zenebas Empire does make an appearance after a fashion, however. In the final episode of the Japanese version of Zoids: Fuzors, Alpha Richter calls his Seismosaurus' main weapon a "Zenebas Cannon", as it is in the model stats. Alpha's insignia, a snake head on a red triangular shield, also bears more than a passing resemblance to the Zenebas insignia. This has led to some fan speculation that Alpha may have been connected to the Zenebas Empire.
While the Helic Republic was the first nation on Zi to deploy full-scale Zoids, the Zenebas Empire fielded their own units shortly afterwards. Early Zenebas Zoids were more advanced then their Helic counterparts, but tended to be more specialized. The earliest Zenebas Zoids were smaller machines like the Marder (aka Hellrunner), Malder and Molga. With the arrival of humans on Zi, the Zenebas Empire were able to improve and/or create larger and more capable Zoids like the Red Horn, Iron Kong and Iguan. Later Zoids were created with the help of the Guylos Empire, such as the Black Rhimos, Sea Panther and possibly Deathsaurer.
Most Zenebas Zoids are red and silver or black, with red, green or smoke-coloured canopies. Zenebas Zoids either have closed, armored canopies or very animal-like heads. Most of the Zoids used by the Zenebas Empire were later re-deployed by the Guylos Empire, after they lost the ability to create their "dark" Zoids.
The Neo-Zenebas Empire uses its own Zoids, including the unmanned "Chimera" Blox (Flyscissors, Shellkarn, Diploguns and Demonshead), the Seismosaurus and Energy Liger. While they also gained a number of Zoids from the Guylos Empire such as the Genosaurer and Berserk Fury, they chose not to use them. The Neo-Zenebas Empire found them to be too "Guylos-like"; instead wanting "pure" Zenebas machines. The same seems to have applied to older Zenebas designs the Guylos Empire appropriated.